Ladies, the fastest way to a man’s heart is through his gear.
That Y chromosome makes us predictable in so many ways but buying your man gifts is sort of a mystery. Despite our seemingly one-track minds, the gifts we dudes covet require a subtle sophistication beyond our obsession with powder days and fantasy football. We’re really not that simple and we love to spoil you on the holidays, so here’s a few gift ideas to make your man grin.
NO: TOP GUN AVIATORS
Yes: Smith Evolve
Eighties retro was dead in the ‘80s. These shades meld ‘70s porn-star with Aughts emo-rocker. On top of all that they are guilt-free, since Smith built them using recycled materials and Rislan Clear, an eco material derived from castor seeds.
$119 (with Carbonic TLT lens); smithoptics.com
NO: DRESS SHIRTS.
Yes: Woolrich Stag Shirt
Flannel just won’t fade. Even if we’re not out in the woods bucking firewood and hauling timber through the snow Rocky IV-style, we think we could be. This nylon/wool blend shirt/jacket is just the type of thing for channeling that inner mountain man. Long live Firehose!
NO: CANDY CANES.
Yes: SkullCandy Holua
Those days of massive equalizers and big wood-cabinet speakers are long gone in this age of the iPod. But the male urge to fetishize our music system has not faded. These sexy wood earbuds provide all the warm, crisp sound of wood-cabinet speakers but fit under a helmet. $95; skullcandy.com
Yes: Scarpa Intuition Liners
$700 bucks for new boots is tough on your budget. Ah, but replacing old liners can be just as effective as putting down the cash for high-tech, molded plastic. Built with Ultron foam, which doesn’t compact like most boot liners, these custom moldable inners for AT and Tele boots meld to your feet (no aftermarket footbed necessary) and come in three flavors to fit different size and style Scarpa boots. $169–$199; scarpa.com
NO: MAN PURSE.
Yes: Green Guru Vulcar
Just when it seems that messenger bags have reached their saturation point, here’s one that stands out. Built from recycled truck tire tubes, it carries green cred without being all hippy drippy. Vulcanized rubber! Semi trucks! That’s man stuff, that is. $150; greenguru.com
Yes: Bulldog Gin
Sure those Jagerbombs were such a big part of our cocktail oeuvre when you first met us, but we really have grown up. Scotch? Bourbon? All good. Gin? Hmmm. That’s a little different. We like that. And the idea behind Bulldog is a classier, smoother gin that mixes into more than martinis. Plus, that little collar around the bottleneck reminds us of something we did back in the Jagerbomb days. $25; bulldoggin.com
NO: SPA TREATMENTS.
Yes: Cat Skiing
We can nurse the aching muscles on the ride back up. There’s nothing that says I love you like a day of guaranteed powder. It will make us so happy we’ll buy you the spa treatment. Hell, you can go with us because you want this gift as much as we do. Three operations close to the Front Range that we recommend are: Chicago Ridge at Ski Cooper (skicooper.com/snowcat-skiing-c4.html), Keystone Adventure Tours (keystoneresort.com/ski-and-snowboard/cat-skiing-and-riding.aspx), Steamboat Powdercats (steamboatpowdercats.com).
Yes: Blundstone 500s
Meet the perfect man shoe. Combining a touch of class with a healthy dose of Australian grit, Blundstones are so versatile that we can get away with wearing them anywhere—from your college roommate’s wedding to a hike with the dogs. $145; blundstone.com
NO: VIDEO GAMES.
Yes: GoPro HD HERO
Yes, there certainly are dudes who sit around the house and play video games. Not us. We live the video game, baby. And that’s why you are with us instead of those Wii-nuts. We also like to watch our exploits on the board, the bike, the wingsuit—over and over again … in freaking HD. We need this, the first HD helmet cam. (Want to show off? Fan the EO Facebook page and post your best videos.) $299; goprocameras.com
Yes: Pistil Blitz
No pom-poms. No silly designs. Just a warm, tough, Italian-boiled-wool hat that doesn’t make us look like a dork. Thanks. $36; pistildesigns.com
NO: WAKING UP EARLY ON A HOLIDAY.
Yes: Defiant Bean Roasters Coffee
Fresh roasted. Fair trade. Place a cup by our bedside and we will love you like a puppy dog. This Glenwood Springs-based roaster treats coffe like fine wine and will even deliver to your door in the Roaring Fork Valley. The Garage Blend is the standout but the most-interesting-man-in-the-world choice here is the Ethiopia Light Roast. defiantbean.com